Johannesburg - The decision by Fifa to have Bafana Bafana replay their 2018 World Cup game against Senegal on Friday night, will have a ripple effect on Premier Soccer League clubs, particularly SuperSport United.
Bafana will now play their final group game in Dakar on Tuesday. They were supposed to play only one game this weekend, giving SuperSport players enough time to reunite with their team-mates before their trip to the Democratic Republic of Congo.
With Bafana scheduled to arrive back in the country on Thursday afternoon, SuperSport coach Eric Tinkler will not have five of his players for two weeks ahead of the CAF Confederation Cup final because of the international break and travelling.
This has thrown preparation for the final game against defending champions TP Mazembe into chaos.
SuperSport’s quintet of Ronwen Williams, Clayton Daniels, Morgan Gould, Bradley Grobler and captain Dean Furman will leave for Lubumbashi less than 24 hours after their arrival in the country.
To compound SuperSport’s problems, striker Jeremy Brockie will play for New Zealand against Peru in Lima on Wednesday morning and will arrive back in South Africa on Thursday.
Have to soldier on
This is hardly an ideal way to prepare for a massive game against Mazembe, who have been training in Morocco for this clash.
With Gould suspended for the away leg, Tinkler will have little time to try a new defensive combination ahead of the game.
On the other hand, only two Mazembe players were called for their national team’s game against Guinea at home on Saturday night.
Tinkler said there was nothing he could do about the situation and they would have to soldier on.
“We can’t use it as an excuse, can we?” asked Tinkler.
“The whole situation obviously hampers our preparations, but what can we do – it is part and parcel of the game. Tactically, I would have loved to try different things, but that is not possible. It is very tough and not ideal for our preparations".
He said it was surprising that CAF scheduled the final right after the international break, knowing how difficult it is to travel across the continent.
Kaizer Chiefs and Bidvest Wits, who meet in a Telkom Knockout semi-final on Saturday, also have players in the national team.
Chiefs coach Steve Komphela will have to prepare for the game without three of his key players – Itumeleng Khune, Eric Mathoho and Siphiwe Tshabalala.
Gavin Hunt only has captain Thulani Hlatshwayo in the Bafana team.